Kosovo (as defined by UNSCR 1244) takes Green Pack on board

Launch takes place during REC office's 10th-anniversary celebration

August 19, 2010 | By Shqipe Neziri

'Green Pack in Kosovo' is a project funded by the Dutch Programme for Cooperation and Development and implemented by the REC Office in Kosovo (as defined by UNSCR 1244). The project receives institutional support from the Kosovar/an Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, as well as the Kosovan Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning. Project implementation started in 2007, and the REC office is now conducting a final phase of teacher trainings that will finish at year's end.The Green Pack educational toolkit aims to raise awareness of the concept of sustainability among a group that is receptive to teaching based on behaviour rather than facts. The Green Pack has already been introduced into the Kosovan educational system, and is targeted at pupils between the ages of 11 and 14, or grades 5 through 9. Similar projects have been implemented in 14 other countries.

The project will provide all primary school grades with multimedia materials about sustainable development, thereby enabling schoolchildren to receive an ongoing environmental education during their formative years. The Green Pack is available to all primary schools in Kosovo (as defined by UNSCR 1244) and material has been contributed by authors from government, academia and civil society.

MOVING FORWARD: REC Executive Director Marta Szigeti Bonifert presents a letter of gratitude to Mahir Jagcillar, Minister of Environment and Social Planning. Looking on are the REC's Kliment Mindjov (left) and Minister of Education, Science and Technology Enver Hoxhaj. Photos by Arber Hoxha

In April 2010, the REC office, together with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure mutual cooperation in implementing the Green Pack project. According to the memorandum, the REC will provide and distribute 950 Albanian-language Green Packs for schools and further 150 in Serbian and Bosnian for schools that teach in those languages. In addition, the REC will train 900 teachers - that is, one teacher per elementary school throughout Kosovo (as defined by UNSCR 1244).

Selected teacher courses cover, among other subjects, biology, chemistry, physics and geography. Furthermore, one-day trainings will be conducted in 35 Kosovan municipalities.

The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, on the other hand, is responsible for coordination of activities through municipal education departments and respective training units, providing insurance and pay for teachers on leave to receive project-related training, and granting licensing and certification to those who complete Green Pack training.

The first phase of trainings, which ran from April to June, was offered to 300 teachers from eight municipalities. The second and final round runs from late August to the end of October.

In addition to the educational CD-ROM, this edition of the Green Pack contains a DVD with 37 short documentaries, five of which are provided by Kosovo Radio and Television and the environmental NGO 'ERA'.

Celebrating 10 years

'Green Pack in Kosovo' was launched in conjunction the celebration of REC office's 10th anniversary. Panellists for the special event were: REC Executive Director Marta Szigeti Bonifert, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Enver Hoxhaj, Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning Mahir Yagcillar, Deputy Head of Mission from the Netherlands Embassy in Kosovo (as defined by UNSCR 1244) Carel Brands, and Head of the Parliamentary Committee for Environment Naser Rugova.

A NOTEWORTHY OCCASION: Numerous youth took part in festivities during the REC's Green Pack launch and 10th anniversary celebrations in August.

The approximately 150 attendees included donors, academics, environmental NGOs and people from government institutions, donors, USAID, Mercy Corps, the Association of Kosovo Municipalities, various municipal assemblies,  the International Organization for Migration, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Kosovan ministries of Environment, Education, Public Administration and Culture, the UNDP, the European Commission, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the University of Pristina.

In order to promote the project, a large 'Green Pack Teachers Handbook' (2 meters in length and 1.5 in width) is currently on display in the hall of the Ministry of Education, Science and greets the eyes of everyone entering the building. Also, a local public transportation bus adorned with the Green Pack logo runs every day in Pristina.